Governor Stitt, state health officials announce new COVID-19 hospital surge plan

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – With COVID-19 numbers and hospitalizations at an all-time high, Governor Stitt and state health officials announced a new hospital surge plan for COVID-19 patients on Tuesday. 

The plan has four tiers but is still based around regions. 

It focuses on the percentage of people, in each region, in the hospital with the virus.   

“As a hospital reaches the 15 percent COVID threshold and capacity for all other patients, the hospital will initiate internal surge plans,” Oklahoma Hospital Association President Patti Davis said. “To be able to expand their capacity to full ability to take care of patients.”

Tier one, which we are in right now, means less than 15 percent of patients in hospitals have COVID-19. 

If all hospitals in a region are above that threshold for three straight days, the region will move to tier two.

If a region goes over 20 percent for three straight days then moves up again to tier three.   

“Selective surgeries will be eliminated. We will change staffing ratios to accommodate the higher patient demand,” Davis said. “Our lower patients will be transferred out of acute care to a more appropriate setting to create capacity of patients in need.”

If a region goes over 40 percent, that’s tier four, and all non-emergency surgeries will be halted. 

Davis says there is a call scheduled for Wednesday to go over the new plan with all of the hospitals.

Despite the new plan and rising number of cases, Governor Stitt says he is still not considering a state-wide mask mandate.  

“Like I’ve stated before, every county is different,” Stitt said.  “We are leaving the up to the municipalities.”

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